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Incrementum Chartbook # 2:

Monetary Tectonics
50 Slides Illustrating The Tug Of War Between Inflation And Deflation

Ronald-Peter Stoeferle & Mark J. Valek January 2014

I.

Recent Developments
I. II.

II. Monetary Tectonics


Deflationary Forces Inflationary Forces

III. Outlook & Conclusion


IV. Appendix

Please Note: In our publications we distinguish the terms monetary inflation/deflation and price inflation/deflation. For more information on that topic please visit: http://www.incrementum.li/austrian-school-of-economics/monetary-inflation-versus-price-inflation/

Our Conviction
Due to structural over-indebtedness and the resulting addiction to low/negative real interest rates, we are certain that the traditional way of thinking about financial markets and asset management is no longer beneficial for investors.
Therefore, at Incrementum we evaluate all our investments not only from the perspective of the global economy but also in the context of the current state of the global monetary regime. This analysis produces what we consider a truly holistic view of the state of financial markets.
Financial markets have become highly dependent on central bank policies. Grasping the consequences of the interplay between monetary inflation and deflation is crucial for prudent investors.

We sincerely believe that the Austrian School of Economics provides us with the appropriate intellectual foundation, especially in this demanding financial and economic environment.

Ronald-Peter Stoeferle, Mark J. Valek

I. Recent Developments

The History Of UnderQEstimation Is This Time Really Different?


5.000 4.500
QE3: 12% Tapering, Jan 2014

4.000 FED Balance Sheet in Bn. USD


3.500 3.000 2.500 2.000

QE 2: 100% Tapering QE 1: 100% Tapering


Failed Projection: Autumn 2013 Tapering Failed Projection: Post OT Exit Strategy

Current Projection: 100% QE3 Tapering in Dec 2014; no Exit Strategy formulated

1.500
1.000 500 0 Failed Projection: Post QE 1 Exit Strategy

Failed Projection: Post QE 2 Exit Strategy

QE 1
01.2007 05.2007 09.2007 01.2008 05.2008 09.2008 01.2009 05.2009 09.2009 01.2010 05.2010 09.2010

QE 2
01.2011 05.2011 09.2011 01.2012

OT
05.2012 09.2012 01.2013 05.2013

QE 3
09.2013 01.2014 05.2014 09.2014 01.2015 05.2015 09.2015 01.2016

All Federal Reserve Banks - Actual Path Projection 2012

Projection 2010 Projection Mid 2013

Projection 2011 Projection 2014

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

Back To Normal Again? Putting Tapering Into Perspective


Cutting Interest Rates (2007-2008) Zero Interest Rate Policy (since 2008) Forward Guidance (since 2008) QE I (2008-2010)

Successful Tapering (100%) Talking about Exit Strategy Successful Tapering (100%) Talking about Exit Strategy

QE II (2010-2011)

Failed Projection: Post QE 1 Exit Strategy Failed Projection: Post QE 2 Exit Strategy

Operation Twist (2011-2012) QE III (since 2012)

To do:

Starting Small Tapering Jan 2014 (11.7%) Complete Tapering (current projection: Nov 2014) Reduce Forward Guidance (best 2016) Communicate Exit Strategy Sell bonds worth approx. 3,000 bn into the market! Reverse Zero Interest Rate Policy

IF this is the first step to policy normalization, we are lightyears away from normal policy!

The Monetary Atlas Shrugs So Much Easing, And Still No Price Inflation?
Total Effective Liquidity (including Repo) USD 47,500 Bn

Total Liquidity is 13x larger than Monetary Base

Monetary Deflation: Credit deleveraging e.g. due to regulatory changes and sluggish credit growth means currency supply is being reduced.

M3 USD 16,555 Bn

M2 USD 10,934 Bn
M0 USD 4,010 Bn

Monetary Inflation: Central bank (directly) only controls a tiny part of the total effective liquidity! Monetary Inflation of the FED intends to offset deflationary forces.

Sources: Nowandfutures.com, UBS Research, Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

Preventing Price Deflation, Creating Asset Price Inflation?

In a highly leveraged world, price deflation is from a political viewpoint a horror scenario that has to be averted whatever it takes, due to the following reasons:

Deleveraging* leads to consumer price deflation and asset price deflation. Tax revenue declines significantly. Asset price inflation is taxed, asset price deflation cannot be. Falling prices result in real appreciation of nominal denominated debt. Increasing amounts of debt can therefore no longer be serviced. Debt liquidation and price deflation have fatal consequences for large parts of the banking system, in an over-indebted world. Central banks also have the mandate to guarantee financial market stability and to make sure It doesnt happen here
Translation: Make sure to keep currency and credit supply growing exponentially

There is no inflation? False! Successful prevention of price deflation via monetary inflation has led to massive asset price inflation!

*Note: Deleveraging may have taken place in some parts of the economy but in aggregate the total debt/credit has kept on growing Please refer to: http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2002/20021121/

Where Did All The Money Go?


Financial Assets And Luxury Goods Profit From Monetary Inflation

Cumulative Price Changes 12/2008 12/2013

0% Consumer Price Index - U all items*

50%

100%

150%

200%

250%

300%

350%

400%

450%

500%

M2 US Money Supply*

BofA US Corporate Bond Index

S&P 500 Index

LVMH Louis Vuitton Shareprice

Sotheby's Shareprice

*Latest data available, Nov, 2013

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

Monetary Regimes & Price Inflation Price Deflation Was Common Before The Fed Was Established
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43% of all Years Price Deflation


30 20 CPI yoy 10 0 -10 -20 1775

12% of all years Price Deflation

1795

1815

1835

1855

1875

1895

1915

1935

1955

1975

1995

Gold/Silver Money (with Interruptions)


3000 2500 CPI Basket 2000 1500 1000 500 0 1775 1795 1815 1835 1855

Classic GS

Partly Debt Based

Debt Based Fiat

1875

1895

1915

1935

1955

1975

1995

Source: Measuringworth.com, Incrementum AG

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II.

Monetary Tectonics

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What Are Monetary Tectonics?

The interplay between inflation and deflation can be compared to the permanent reciprocal pressure of two tectonic plates. Fiduciary media (currency) is being created (monetary inflation) and destroyed (monetary deflation) within the commercial banking system and by the Central Bank.

Preventing a deflationary collapse of the inverted monetary pyramid due to deleveraging in the commercial banking sector has been a main objective for policy makers Balancing the two heavy forces will be increasingly difficult to manage. Investors should prepare for both scenarios: inflationary AND deflationary periods

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Comprehending The Currency Composition*


Total liquidity, including liquidity created trough financial markets (repo markets) Fiduciary media lent into existence by commercial banks, through fractional reserve system.
The broader currency supply can be calculated according to different methodologies (e.g. M2, M3, TMS)

Total Effective Liquidity (including Repo) USD 47,500 Bn M3 USD 16,555 Bn M2 USD 10,934 Bn
M0 USD 4,010 Bn

M0 or base money is directly created by the FED The Central bank (directly) only controls a small part of total effective liquidity! It is important to remember that, due to the fractional reserve banking system, most of the currency is lent into existence through the commercial banking system.
*Note: We encourage the interested reader to look up what F.A.Hayek wrote about the concept of the inverted pyramid: http://mises.org/books/pricesproduction.pdf

Sources: Nowandfutures.com, UBS Research, Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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Deflating Credit vs. Inflating Monetary Base

8.000 7.500 M2 minus Monetary Base (bn USD) 7.000

4.000

3.500

3.000 6.500 2.500 6.000 2.000 5.500 1.500 5.000 4.500 4.000 Monetary Base (bn USD)

1.000

500

2009

2011

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2010

2012

M2 minus Monetary Base


Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

Monetary Base

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2013

The Tug Of War*

Team Blue: Deflationary Forces

Team Red: Inflationary Forces


Balance Sheet Deleveraging: Undercapitalized banks still recovering from the crisis are reluctant to lend Sluggish Credit Growth: Over-indebted consumers are reluctant to borrow Regulation: Basel III High Demand to hold Money (low inflation exp.)** Productivity gains Defaults and Bail-ins (Europe: Greece, Cyprus) Demographics

Zero interest rate policy Communications Policy (forward guidance) Operation Twist Quantitative Easing Currency Wars Eligibility Criteria for Collateral (ECB)

* Please also refer to another outstanding speech of James Rickards here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fXHV6MnP0E ** Low velocity according to the Monetarist Paradigm

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II.

Monetary Tectonics
I. Deflationary Forces

16

Falling prices or price deflation are not the cause of economic and financial crises, but their consequences - and at the same time their cure.
Roland Baader

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Total Credit Market Debt In Percent Of US GDP: Ratio Reduced Slightly Since 2007 Still Close To Record Highs

370%

320%

270%

220%

170%

120%

1987

1971

1973

1975

1977

1979

1981

1983

1985

1989

1991

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

Total Credit Market Debt as a % of US GDP

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

US Bank Credit Of All Commercial Banks (bn USD): Sluggish Growth, Deceleration Reminds Us Of 2007/2008
11.000 10.000 9.000 8.000 7.000 6.000 5.000 4.000 3.000 2.000 1.000 0 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013

US Commercial Bank Assets Bank Credit

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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US Bank Credit Of All Commercial Banks yoy Change: Lending Growth Rate Decreasing
20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

-5%

Bank Credit of All Commercial Banks yoy Change


-10% 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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Money Supply Growth In US & Eurozone Trending Lower: Central Banks Will Take Aggressive Countermeasures
14

12

10

0 1991 -2

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

M2 USA yoy Change


-4

M3 Eurozone yoy Change

Sources: European Central Bank, Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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US Price Inflation: Personal Consumption Expenditures Exhibiting Disinflation


5

-1

-2

2001

1997

1998

1999

2000

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

US Inflation (PCE Price Index) yoy

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

Gold/Silver-Ratio: Gold Outperforms Silver During Disinflationary/Deflationary Periods


100

90
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10

1981

2005

1971

1973

1975

1977

1979

1983

1985

1987

1989

1991

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2007

2009

2011

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

Gold / TLT*-Ratio Gold To Bond Ratio Confirming Deflationary Pressure

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2

2010

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2011

2012

Gold / TLT-Ratio
*TLT: iShares 20+ year Treasury bond ETF

Sources: Paul Mylchreest Thunder Road Report, Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

Continuous Commodity Index (CCI) Since 1971 Commodity Bull Market Over?
600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 1981

1984

1987

1990

1993

1996

1999

2002

2005

2008

2011

Sources: Paul Mylchreest Thunder Road Report, Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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Copper yoy Change Vs. S&P 500 yoy Change Growing Divergence: Whos right? Dr. Copper Or Equities?

500 450 400 350 300

1900

1700

1500

Copper

1100 250 200 150 100 900

700

500

2009

2007

2008

2010

2011

2012

Copper

S&P 500

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

S&P 500

1300

The Consensus View: No Inflation!

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Inflation Fears? Not Even The Germans Are Afraid Anymore!

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-29/germany-abandons-inflation-angst-with-merkel-offering-new-agenda.html

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Inflation Expectations: Stable, Or Grinding Lower For EUR & USD


4 5Y Break Even Rates US 3 5Y Break Even Rates Germany

-1 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Sources: Bloomberg, Incrementum AG

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Deflation Fears Inch Up Again?


Google Search Terms for Financial News: Inflation vs. Deflation

Note: The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don't represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized.

Source: Google Trends, Incrementum AG

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Demand To Hold Currency (Currently) High -> Velocity Low* Watch Out When This Dynamic Changes!
11 2,3 2,2

10
2,1 9 2,0 M1 Velocity 8 1,9 1,8 7 1,7 6 1,6 5 1,5 M2 Velocity

1977

1983

1991

1971

1973

1975

1979

1981

1985

1987

1989

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

M1 Velocity

M2 Velocity

* According to the Austrian School the concept of quantifying an exact figure for velocity is questionable, due to several issues, partly regarding the accounting of the money supply and the calculation of GDP. However the demand to hold currency is currently extremely high i.e. velocity low!

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

DeflationIn One Picture

Note: Perhaps we just should have bought more Christmas presents for ourselves? Have a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM8L7bdwVaA

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II.

Monetary Tectonics
II. Inflationary Forces

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The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague.

Inflation is a policy.

Ludwig von Mises,


Economic Policy

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Monetary Base Since 1918


4000

QE3
3500

3000 Monetary Base (Bn USD)

QE2

2500

2000

QE1

1500

1000

500

2003

1918

1923

1928

1933

1938

1943

1948

1953

1958

1963

1968

1973

1978

1983

1988

1993

1998

2008

St. Louis Adjusted Monetary Base

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

U.S. Households Stop Deleveraging


Households And Nonprofit Organizations: Credit Market Instruments yoy Change

18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

US Household Sector Debt Change YoY


-2 -4

1971

1991

1973

1975

1977

1979

1981

1983

1985

1987

1989

1993

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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2013

QE And S&P 500 The Wealth Effect Is Working At Least For The Wealthy
4200 FED Total Assets 3800 1600 Fed Total Assets (bn USD) 3400 S&P 500 Index 1400 3000 1200 S&P 500 1800

2600

1000

2200

800

1800 2009

600 2010 2011 2012 2013

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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Currency In Circulation
1400

1200

Currency in Circulation (bn USD)

1000

800

600

400

200

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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A Flood Of Reserves Has Been Dammed Up. Watch Out For Rates Reduction On Reserves

3000
2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

Excess Reserves (bn USD)

Excess Reserves of Depository Institutions

Sources: Federal Reserve St. Louis, Incrementum AG

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III.

Outlook and Conclusions

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Conclusion: Inflation Or Deflation?


Monetary Tectonics - Pressure building up

The natural market adjustment process of the current crisis would be highly deflationary. The reason for this lies within the fractional reserve banking system, as the largest part of money in circulation is created by credit within the commercial banking sector. The much smaller portion is created by central banks. As the financial sector in most parts of the world reversed its preceding credit expansion, overall credit supply is reduced significantly. This (credit) deflation, respectively deleveraging, is compensated by very expansionary central bank policies. The unintended consequences of these monetary interventions will result in increasing volatility, potentially further disinflationary /deflationary phases and eventually (highly) inflationary phases!

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Our Approach: Being Prepared For Inflation And Deflation!


Monetary Seismograph

Price inflation is a monetary phenomenon. Due to the fractional reserve banking system and the dynamics of monetary tectonics, inflationary and deflationary phases may alternate.
To measure how much monetary inflation is spilling into the markets, we utilize a number of market-based indicators, which are combined in a proprietary signal. This method of measurement can be compared to a monetary seismograph. The measurement results in the Incrementum-Inflation Signal, indicating the current momentum of inflation. From our point of view, it is not the absolute level of inflation but rather the change of inflation that matters. According to the respective signal we position ourselves for rising, neutral or falling inflation trends.

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Monetary Seismograph: Currently Still Signaling Falling Inflation


Disinflation late 1990ies Deflation Scare 2001 Deflation late 2008, 2009 2009 -2011 Reflation Disinflation Late 2011 current

Commodity Boom 1999 - 2008


2,5

Rising Inflation Momentum

1,5

No green light yet, for inflation protecting asset classes. The last days though have brought us closer to a neutral signal!

0,5

Falling Inflation Mom.

-0,5

-1

-1,5

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Incrementum Inflation Signal

DJ UBS Commodity Index Spot

Sources: Bloomberg, Incrementum AG

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2013

0,75

Outlook: Policy Strategy Nr. 1: Prayer Dear Lord, please let Monetary Stimuli Work This Time

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Outlook: Policy Strategy Nr. 2: Unconventional Measures How To Achieve Higher Price Inflation?

Cutting Interest Rates (2007-2008) Zero Interest Rate Policy (since 2008) Communications Policy (since 2008)

QE I (2008-2010)
QE II (2010-2011) Operation Twist (2011-2012) QE III (since 2012)

What More Is To Come?

Strengthening guidance

Change of the definition/threshold of unemployment Change of the inflation threshold

More direct Measures (e.g. Funding for Lending Program; Helicopter Money) More QE (if required)

Changing Interest Rates on Reserves

We encourage interested readers to watch the Dec. 2013 FED Press Conference, especially relevant starting from min. 20:00 Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0Ma3twcFkY

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Outlook: Policy Strategy Nr. 3: Despair The Keynesian Endgame In One Picture*

* Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, elaborating on the projected development of the Japanese Currency Supply

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but it is not that certain that in the long run deflation is more harmful than inflation. [...] Because moderate inflation is always pleasant as and when it is happening, whereas deflation is direct and painful. There is no need to take precaution against a situation whose unpleasant effects can be felt immediately and sharply; however, precaution is necessary for a measure that is immediately pleasant or helps alleviate problems but that entails a much more substantial damage which can only be felt later.

The difference is that in case of inflation, the pleasant surprise comes first and is followed by the reaction later, whereas in case of deflation the first effect on business activity is depressive.

Friedrich August von Hayek,


The Constitution of Liberty

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IV.

APPENDIX

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About Us

Incrementum AG is an owner-managed asset management boutique based in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Our Investment Principles are based on the Austrian School of Economics. We sincerely believe that the Austrian School of Economics provides us with the appropriate intellectual foundation especially in this highly demanding financial and economic environment. Independence is a main Pillar of our Philosophy Our Core Competences are :

Austrian Investing Precious Metals Absolute Return Bottom Up Fundamental Research

Incrementum AGs partners are highly qualified and have over 140 years of combined banking experience. Prior to joining the company, the partners held positions at UBS, Dresdner Bank, Lombard Odier, Darier Hentsch & Cie., Cantrade Private Bank, PBS Private Bank, Bank Leu, Pictet & Cie., Bank Sal. Oppenheim, Merrill Lynch, Raiffeisen Capital Management, Erste Group and Socit Gnrale. For further information please visit: www.incrementum.li

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Our Philosophy At Incrementum: The Austrian School Of Economics

The Austrian School of Economics originated in Vienna in the late 19th century and provides an alternative assessment of economic affairs. Contrary to mainstream economics, this analysis produces a truly holistic view of financial markets, because it integrates the current state of the monetary regime. Followers of the Austrian School have been extremely successful at anticipating major economic events like the Great Depression, the stagflationary environment of the 1970s, the Dotcom Bubble and the Housing Bubble. The insights of this school of thought offer exceptional understanding and superior interpretation of the interdependencies between money supply and price inflation. This knowledge is valuable especially nowadays, as central bank policies massively distort and influence financial markets. Grasping the consequences of the interplay between monetary inflation and deflation will be crucial for prudent investors. Scholars of the Austrian School are convinced, that today's radical monetary and fiscal policy interventions will not lead to a selfsustained recovery of the economy, but to further turmoil in financial markets.

For further information about the Austrian School please visit our webpage: http://www.incrementum.li/austrian-school-of-economics/an-introduction-to-the-austrian-school-of-economics

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Disclaimer

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